"Outsiders" Middle East Watch (9/12/2012): A Sad & Tragic Day......
: As Secretary Clinton Said, why attack in a City that the US helped Save?
The past 24 hours,though, have continued to remind us all about what a dangerous and volatile World we live in. The US Ambassador to Libya and three other officers were killed when the US Consulate in Benghazi was attacked. CNN is reporting that apparently the attack in Benghazi was planned by thugs that used the protests as a pretext. The US Embassy In Cairo was also breached during this disturbances over the past 24 hours.
This was triggered by a movie posted on YouTube depiciting the Prophet Mohammad in a extremely disgraceful way. I have not seen the clip and will never see the clip. It was quite disturbing to see how America's Right to Free Speech was violated in such an unfortunate way. I was especially concerned when I listened to Governor Romney noting how the Obama Administration's position was one of weakness and that they apologized for American Values. A
The statement by US Embassy Cairo said in part:
"...Âcondemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims Â as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions. Today, the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, Americans are honoring our patriots and those who serve our nation as the fitting response to the enemies of democracy. Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others...:
Although the Administration took issue and noted that it "was not cleared" with Washington, Embassy Cairo did what it felt was right under the circumstances. Governor Romney's campaign has tried to politicize the issue by characterizing it all as an apology. The White House made a decision to back away from it--which I view it as a mistake. The World must understand that such recklessness is not what America is about. What Embassy Cairo did underscored the finest the America has stood for. It would have been in the best tradition of American Foreign Policy for the Romney Campaign not to have spoken out to--as Chuck Dodd of NBC News put it--chase news cycles.
As I listened to Governor Romney, I could not help but wonder what Governor Romney's reaction would be if the founder of the Mormon Faith , Joseph Smith, was depicted in as disgraceful a way as the Prophet Mohammad was. I would be the first one who would tell the World that it was wrong to do so. America is about respecting all faiths and beliefs. It is that strength that would help to sustain it.
On a larger issue, what Governor Romney and his neo-con advisers have failed to grasp is to the continued extent of the anger against the United States on the Arab Street. I will not expect much from the likes of John Bolton and Dan Senor who were at the forefront of the debacle that characterized US Foreign Policy during the Bush Administration. Beyond this matter itself, Governor Romney's reckless attempt to call for a defacto outsourcing of US Foreign Policy to the Israeli Prime Minister is part of this effort which will undermine US efforts to play a constructive role.
The statements by President Obama and Secretary Clinton speak for themselves. I was as baffled as Secretary Clinton was when the US was attacked in a City that the US helped save. All around the World should mourn the loss of these four brave souls who represented the best that America had to offer. May their souls rest in peace and may the almighty grant their families the patience to endure.